The Pinpoint Laser

by R.T. Allenson

From his viewpoint on the space station, the world below was no different from the rest of the planets orbiting this solar system – a singular moon orbiting the fifth planet in a binary star system, capable of sustaining life but just barely; in retrospect, a waste of time, but it was the hope of something far more than failure that kept the plan going.

The men of science, the ones content with experimenting in their labs in utter safety with a pinpoint laser than actually going about the process of terraforming, they were the ones steering the mission. He stared out into the darkness of space and contemplated the world below. He knew from memory that the altruistic mission as they likely put it forth to the allied governments is nothing short than to further some hidden agenda but as for what it was, it was unknown to him.

The siren blared, he took his position and with a push of a button, he soared above some ten feet upwards to higher viewpoint, more spacious but fitted with the same pinpoint laser the scientists use but on a far larger scale. His chair swung forward, metal clamps tightening their grip on his relaxed arms;  a screen appeared before him, scanning his retinas and finally synching fully with his eyes. He twitched, rolling his eyes with the screen following. The laser hummed, tremendous energies brewing within its metal insides – the very force of creation at his fingertips; he should feel like God but there was a measure of dread in him that made him feel vulnerable.

The siren blared, the voice of the scientist followed soon after issuing commands. It was the same message, and he cringed at the man’s coldness –  a voice almost as metallic, unfeeling as the very laser that was set above the verdant moon. They knew the moon could sustain life, if not barely…they had proof after all.

Not more than a hundred of them, like huddled cavemen eking a meager existence after some large catastrophe nearly wiped them out. Like the Toba Catastrophe way back on Earth. It would have been a negligible sacrifice, but the way they moved mimicked, hearkened back to a time when mankind was also vulnerable, a time when the font of sapience was only beginning.

The first intelligent life ever encountered by mankind. A hardy race, a survivor of some apocalypse that weeded out the meek and left the strong…and from one world-destroying event, they were facing a new one unlike they ever experienced.

But there was no chance of survival this time, the odds were against them. And it was in the hands of a mightier race that their fate rested.

The siren blared the same command – lights flashed and the laser hummed louder, the engine lighting like a furnace. With a push of the button the machine sang the song of the apocalypse into space, a cacophony of fire and thunder that plowed its way into the moon’s surface and unraveled the very world. He should feel like God, and he knew the scientists felt like lords over their own creations, but there was dread in him that made him feel less human. He dreaded the following solar cycle, when he would survey the destruction he had wrought…

…a thousand screams buried deep and exhumed into the sky by the fire from his hands. And if they would haunt his restless dreams, he would accept it as poetic justice.